agents: Carlsbad Buyers Ask - Is This a SAFE Neighborhood?? - 02/12/10 03:16 PM
"Is This A Safe Neighborhood?" 
How many times have you been asked this question? 
If the answer is never, I suspect you are an amazing exception, have a terrible memory, or are lying. 
I always find this question a bit troubling. 
Not so much the question itself. Heck, I have asked it myself, and have often wondered when buying various homes I have owned. It's very personal, and it touches a very basic need of people - to feel safe and protected in their homes, without undue fear of the outside world. 
The reality is this question is a minefield, and … (39 comments)

agents: Deadlines and Due Dates Are There for a Reason. Or Are They? - 02/12/10 12:55 AM
There are plenty of deadlines in our business, at least from a contractual basis. 
Deadline to provide buyer's proof of funds Deadline to apply for the loan Deadline to complete the due diligence Deadline for the loan commitment Deadline for close of escrow The list goes on. 
It seems that most deadlines are there for a reason...and folks need to pay attention to them. After all, failure to do so can put your contract, and your deposit, at risk, depending on the situation and the conditions outlined in your particular contract. And there could be other legal complications if one does … (29 comments)

agents: Winter Flowers in California - 02/07/10 03:20 PM

You might not think these flowers are so special, since Southern California has flowers all year round.
These daffodils were blooming outside one of the homes I toured today with my clients (who, by the way, put in an offer).
While it is not ususual to see flowers, daffodils are not common except in the cooler areas of California (e,g., the mountain communities further inland). These reminded me of my East coast roots, and in particular the vast quantities of daffodils we would see in early Spring on Cape Cod, MA. Indeed, they even had a Daffodil festival to celebrate … (14 comments)

agents: The Annual Decision - To Watch the Super Bowl or Sell Real Estate? Or Both? - 02/05/10 03:10 AM
Annually real estate folks are confronted with a tough choice - to watch the Super Bowl or to sell real estate. And for some there is no choice - you do both. Or real estate takes second tier to the game.
Since the game is always on Sunday, a popular day for open houses, having a major sporting event at the same time can interfere, with folks preferring to stay home or go to one of the many Super Bowl parties. [photo courtesy of seantoyer on Flickr]
Of course if you are in a different time zone the issue maybe different. … (13 comments)

agents: Out-of-Area Agents - Let's Play by the Rules - 01/30/10 08:50 AM
As our market has shifted in the last several years, especially with more REOs and short sales, there has been an influx of out-of-area agents, especially on the listing side. 
This change has complicated the showing process from a Buyer Agent's (and buyers!) perspective, for a host of reasons - limited or inaccurate information, lockbox issues, poor communication, and so on. 
We really do want to help your sell your listings and work hand in hand with you, so here are some suggestions to improve the process. If everyone would play by the rules, life would be so much simpler.
FOLLOW … (21 comments)

agents: Close of Escrow or Settlement = Move In Day. Maybe. (A debate) - 01/29/10 01:37 AM
The main purpose of this article is to generate discussion and debate, with advice offered by fellow agents, and a sharing of good, and bad, experiences. 
The issue?  When does the buyer get to move into the new home? 
In general, once escrow has closed, or settlement occurs, the new home owners are given the keys to their new home and can move in. Occupancy is specified clearly in the Offer to Purchase Contact here in California and is part of the negotiation and contract. But there are a number of scenarios that can occur. 
Is occupancy by the end of … (15 comments)

agents: I Love Sticky Notes Off-Line and On-Line - 01/27/10 03:02 AM
I have been a big fan of sticky notes, a.k.a. Post-It Notes (Post-Its), for years. A great invention. In the corporate world they were indispensable. Still are, no doubt. 
Their use carried over into my real estate business and became a staple when I started blogging. Post-Its were everywhere, with all my ideas for blog articles.
I got more organized and started keeping a file filled with clippings, notes, etc. to keep track of all my ideas. Post-It Notes are still a big part of that organization. And I continue to use them in a variety of ways as I suspect … (53 comments)

agents: The Hook of Using a Good Photo - 01/24/10 02:53 AM
Morning musings, over a cup of coffee, can sometimes lead to interesting thoughts. Or generate ideas for a post.
Such was the case just now, after getting a comment from fellow blogger and CRS Sam Miller. Sam is a very successful agent and blogger in the Knox Country real estate market in Ohio, and he knows about the power of the Internet in his business. 

I wrote a short article recently about Lake San Marcos and included a couple of photos (one shown above) I had taken plus a video. Sam's simple, but powerful comment a short time ago was … (9 comments)

agents: There's a Body in the Driveway!! - 01/21/10 04:43 AM
As folks may know, Southern California has been deluged with rain and wind - we are on the 3rd or 4th storm of the week, with flooding, some mudslides, home evacuations and other unpleasantness. 
My seller let me know that my sign had blown down yesterday so I schlepped out in the pouring rain to go fix it. I was working on getting it righted and sunk in the ground in a firmer spot and happened to turn and look across the road to the neighbor's.
Yikes!! There was a body in the driveway!! 
It (appeared to be male) was lying … (48 comments)

agents: Agents – Some Tips to Get Your Homes Sold - 01/17/10 05:07 PM
This list of tips, admittedly, is a bit tongue-in cheek. But I think some folks can use the help. Perhaps they do know but just don't care, or are lazy, forget or for some other reason don't bother. Regardless, some help is needed.
I hope if these apply you take these suggestions to heart. 
Some of this seems so obvious and common sense. But clearly it's not. And it is certainly not doing clients any favors and getting their home sold. 
TAKE SOME PHOTOS Don't be so lazy. Buyers want to see them. REO agents are the worst. Guess they figure … (100 comments)

agents: Superstitions and Real Estate - Are YOU Spooked? Are They? - 01/08/10 02:41 AM
Every now and then superstitions enter our business, sometimes in ways we don't expect.  They don't necessarily prevent things from moving ahead but it's always interesting to hear about the things that folks are superstitious about. 
A couple of example - I bet you all have some stories to share. 
I had a buyer a number of years ago from the Caribbean - I don't recall where. We toured a good number of homes in the Cambridge area and there was one property on a dead end street she was interested in seeing. 
No way, she said, once she saw the … (10 comments)

agents: It Shouldn't be this Hard to Buy a Cheap Condo These Days - 01/03/10 10:24 AM
It really shouldn't be this hard to buy a cheap condo in this market.
Granted there are lots of short sales and REOs, especially when you are looking under $100K in North San Diego County (yes, you CAN buy a condo in this price range in America's Finest City these days). Can you believe even a 2-bedroom one? 
Well, you can, but it ain't easy.
Here are the most recent examples just today. 
Scenario 1- vacant condo on lockbox per the MLS. Got to the unit. No lockbox but keys lying in the entry. Nope, they did not work. Per … (8 comments)

agents: Is ActiveRain Helping the Real Estate Industry? You Bet It Is! - 01/02/10 02:58 AM
We all know that ActiveRain is an amazing social networking venue focused on the real estate industry. With 169,296 members as I write this, ActiveRain is an incredible voice in the real estate, and social networking, world, with significant power to influence change. 
Is ActiveRain helping the real estate industry? You bet it is! Here are just a few ways.
AR provides a forum for: 
Real estate agents/brokers, staging professionals, mortgage brokers, inspectors, title professionals and others in the industry to share ideas and learn from each other. Consumers benefit through their own increased education, as well as benefiting from more … (34 comments)

agents: Last Pics of the Year - Happy New Year 2010: The Dawn of a New Decade - 01/01/10 01:51 AM

I was out touring homes and taking photos and realized that these  will be the LAST photos of the year 2009, and I suppose the decade.
These photos were taken at Grandview Beach in Leucadia (Encinitas), a favorite place to visit which always makes me think about that I really enjoy about being here - great weather, palm trees, the ocean, and wonderful views. I hope YOU enjoy them too, wherever you are!

I want to wish all my ActiveRain friends...those I know and those yet to come...the happiest of New Year's Eves and Best Wishes for … (18 comments)

agents: Are YOU Lying to Your Sellers? - 12/30/09 10:02 AM
Are You Lying to your Sellers?You have to wonder if some agents are lying to their sellers. We suspect they may be in certain cases from the stories we hear about proposed listing prices. 
Who hasn't lost out on a listing because another agent told the sellers they could get $X for their home, when none of the market data and conditions support that contention? We all know what happens then - the home sits there, month after month, with multiple price reductions. And no offers. And then it gets relisted with another agent. Or it finally sells for well below where … (117 comments)

agents: A Special Day with Well Wishes for All - 12/25/09 12:29 PM

Today was a wonderful day, with my daughter and her new husband, and my other daughter and her long-time guy, all down from LA for a few days. We always cherish these times together, especially at this time of year where the traditions, new and old, are such an important part of being together. And that, really, is a big part of what it's all about. 
Technology has become such a big part of our lives, and today was no exception, In fact, it sorta hit me in the face when I noticed the dining room table. While most of … (18 comments)

agents: Why I LIKE Being Asked About the Carlsbad Real Estate Market - 12/20/09 09:58 AM
Why I LIKE Being Asked About the Carlsbad Real Estate Market
I like being asked about the market. Really, I do. I suspect you feel the same.
Unless of course you haven't made it your objective to be as informed about the local market conditions as you can and should be.
There isn't a day that goes by without someone asking me about the local market, or the market in general. Some recent examples:
(1) So what's going on in the market?
(2) How's the market there?
(3) What is the market doing?
(4) What do you think about the market … (11 comments)

agents: Great! Zillow Sent me a Listing Activity Report on a Property That Isn't Even on the Market - 12/07/09 05:28 AM
I opened up my email yesterday morning, even before I had my morning coffee, and found 3 emails from Zillow.
Those emails provided me with listing reports - (1) Listing Activity Report for 4686 Cordoba Way; (2) Listing Activity Report for 1286 Discovery St SPC 88; and (3) Listing Activity Report for 1286 Discovery St SPC 88.
Two things immediately jumped out:
First, there are 2 reports on my listing on Discovery. Hmmm. That's helpful. NOT.
Second, the listing on Cordoba doesn't even exist anymore and hasn't been on the market since November 9, 2009. So much for accurate reporting.
But, … (33 comments)

agents: "I'm Not Your Average REALTOR!" - Are You Sure? - 12/05/09 05:43 AM
I doubt most people want to be considered average, though there is probably nothing inherently wrong with being so. Of course a high school grade of C is average, which puts a different perspective on things.
Being middle of the road and being part of the status quo is the route many take in their jobs, politics, and lifestyles. Being average is, well, being part of the crowd and therefore like most others you are compared to...including being a REALTOR.
The public, as we all know, has a pretty dour view of REALTORS, in general. There are plenty of exceptions, but … (69 comments)

agents: Do You Share Your Blog Posts? How About Your Friends' Posts? - 11/25/09 07:34 AM
Blogging provides an opportunity for us to share a wealth of knowledge about a wide array of topics, much of which, hopefully, is of interest to consumers. 
And if we are doing it well, with the right keywords, folks will find those pearls of wisdom you have created and come back repeatedly to learn more, and ultimately will perhaps call you to help them buy and/or sell.
Some readers will stumble on your writings in ways you don't expect, or even know about...the long tail approach. That's good, too. 
But do you take a proactive approach and also actually share your … (44 comments)

Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) Ambassador large

Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude

Carlsbad, CA

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Solutions Real Estate

Address: 2055 Corte Del Nogal, Carlsbad, CA, 92011


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